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New Zealand Journey Guide

New Zealand Journey Guide

Positioned roughly 900 miles east of Australia, New Zealand is an island nation comprised of massive land masses—the North Island and South Island—and almost 600 smaller islands. Whether you’re looking for unique wildlife, world-class restaurants, pristine hiking, unmatched cultural experiences, kayaking in dolphin-stuffed waters, hair-raising adrenaline sports or sandy, tropical beaches, New Zealand brings it all collectively in one unforgettable nation.

New Zealand is historically distinctive in that it was one of many final main land plenty to be settled by humans. Estimates put the arrival of the first Māori settlers between 1250 and 1300, and European explorers didn’t arrive until the 1642 voyage of the Dutchman Abel Tasman. The primary meeting between Māori and Europeans resulted in the demise of 4 of Tasman’s crew members and at the least one injured Māori, and Europeans didn’t return till 1769, when James Cook mapped virtually the whole thing of the nation’s coastline.

Through the whaling and trading industries, European exploration of the realm intensified, and starting in the early nineteenth century, Christian missionaries began converting a lot of the prevailing Māori. By the late 19th century, the Māori population was at 40 percent of its pre-European contact stage, due largely to European-introduced diseases.

On July 1, 1841, the Colony of New Zealand was officially formed from the Colony of New South Wales, and in 1907, upon request from the New Zealand parliament, New Zealand was proclaimed a dominion within the British Empire. New Zealand fought in both World War I and World War II and suffered by way of the Nice Despair as well.

In more current history, there’s been a resurgence of Māori culture and several other movements geared toward promoting better awareness of their traditions.

New Zealand is often the story of teams, Māori and Pākehā (European tradition within New Zealand), and cultural achievements are no exception. Within the Māori tradition, there are lots of lovely examples of carvings and weavings, each of which usually have religious and storytelling significance. From the early Pākehā, landscape paintings and a few Māori portraiture were common.

One of the vital well known cultural components of the Māori folks is the haka, a posture dance that includes stamping ft, rhythmic cries and openly uncovered tongues. The All Blacks, the New Zealand rugby union team, has carried out this ritual before matches since 1905.

While there has historically been little worldwide interest in New Zealand’s cultural exports, the film trade has seen a recent boon. New Zealand films Once Have been Warriors, The Piano, Heavenly Creatures and Whale Rider all loved national and worldwide success, and the Peter Jackson–directed Lord of the Rings shot New Zealand into the mainstream spotlight.

On the music front, the Takapuna-born artist Lorde has broken into worldwide acclaim, and the musical comedy duo Flight of the Conchords enjoys international success as well.

When traveling in New Zealand, hold among the following in mind:

CURRENCY
New Zealand’s currency is the New Zealand dollar. Solely in rare circumstances are you able to pay with US dollars here, so all the time convert into the native currency. Most retailers accept major credit cards, and ATMs are plentiful. In the event you’re going somewhere notably remote, just ensure to stock up on money beforehand. When exchanging money, the worst rates will likely be on the airport and in hotels. Merely withdrawing from an ATM tends to provde the most favorable rate.

TIPPING
While tipping’s not obligatory in restaurants, it’s nonetheless frequent, particularly in touristy areas. A ten percent gratuity for particularly excellent service will all the time be appreciated. At hotels, it’s considered a nice gesture to tip anybody carrying your bags or cleaning your room. The following pointers are typically a few dollars.

PUBLIC BEHAVIOR
New Zealand’s typically a quite relaxed, open and friendly nation. Westerners received’t come up in opposition to too many strict social customs or taboos. There are, nevertheless, subtle differences between the coexisting European and Māori cultures. Māori, for instance, are more tied to social protocols, tradition and hierarchy.

ELECTRIC CURRENT
New Zealand operates on 230/240 volts. Always check your US gadgets to see if they’re suitable with a hundred and ten and 220. If not, you’ll need a converter. New Zealand uses two- or three-pin plugs which can be angled, so an adapter’s mandatory as well.

PUBLIC BATHROOMS
Public bogs are clean, modern and readily available all through New Zealand. You can expect sinks, running water and bathroom paper to be provided.

Preserve a special eye out for "Exeloo" toilets. These high-tech restrooms point out with a light if the stall’s vacant, occupied or closed, they play mild music over a speaker system, they mean you can lock the door on the push of a button, and the toilet automatically flushes while you wash your hands!

DRINKING WATER
Tap water’s clear and safe Places to stay in New Zealand drink all through New Zealand. For those who’re heading out for multiday adventures within the wild, use the identical common sense you would anywhere. Don’t drink from stagnant pools, and produce along your choosered water sterilization technique—just to be safe.

AUCKLAND REGION
Named after the nation’s largest city heart, the Auckland area accommodates everything from metropolitan bars and restaurants to the islands of Hauraki Gulf, the place you’re liable to see whales and dolphins.

Auckland: A gorgeous city of metropolitan and cultural significance, Auckland is a can’t-miss stop for anybody hitting the North Island. Take in the Sky Tower and beautiful harbor, as well because the multicultural atmosphere. (Beware, though. Auckland has been ranked one of many world’s costliest cities.)

BAY OF PLENTY REGION
Situated within the Taupo Volcanic Zone, this area’s finest identified for its extensive geothermal activity, but it surely’s also a site of historical and cultural significance to the Māori people.

Rotorua: Whether you’re interested in the geothermal exercise, trout fishing or Maori tradition, Rotorua will hold you spellbound. Don’t miss its array of scorching swimming pools and geysers.

HAWKE’S BAY REGION
Nestled alongside the eastern coast of the North Island, many come for the surroundings but keep for the wine. Hawke’s Bay is known internationally as the house to many award-winning reds and whites.

Napier: Devastated in a 1931 earthquake, this resilient metropolis rebuilt in its now-well-known Art Deco architectural style. Folks flock right here 12 months-round for wine festivals and celebrations of their Artwork Deco history and heritage.

WAIKATO REGION
Black-sand beaches, revered surfing, natural harbors and pervasive livestock make this North Island region quintessentially Kiwi.